NPR Dumps Annual July 4 Reading of Declaration of Independence to Explore ‘Equality’

National Public Radio, which is funded by tax payers, has canceled its annual July Fourth reading of Declaration of Independence. NPR Morning Edition Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Independence Day program, announced that they have been reading The Declaration since 1988.

It is surprising that NPR has ever shown reverence for 1776. They’re more marinated in the spirit of 1974, the liberal Democrats that moved to impeach Nixon and lose the war in Vietnam and enshrine abortion on demand. 

Their 11-minute segment instead was headlined “On July 4th what does equality look like?” Inskeep stated that the Declaration was not the whole.story.

For expertise, NPR typically  turned to two liberal Harvard historians. Annette Gordon-Reed was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in recognition of her book about Thomas Jefferson’s complex relationship to slavery and a slave called Sally Hemings. Jill Lepore also writes.The New Yorker and just ripped Clarence Thomas there for the latest decision on gun control, one of her passions.

Here is a meditation on Jefferson’s statement that all men are made equal and how America has been challenged throughout American history. The commentary also included information about slavery, women rights and Native Nations. Turning to more modern times, Inskeep ran a soundbite of actor Sean Penn playing San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk — but inaccurately described him as “Mayor” when he was assassinated in 1978. 

Without providing any context or explanation, Inskeep wrapped it all up with the notion that Republicans are seeking “unequal voting power”  — is this another attack on voter ID requirements? — connected this idea with the “global shift toward authoritarian control.”

INSKEEP Which voting rules give women equal access to the vote? What laws allow women to have equal rights over their own bodies through abortion? What is the point at which a fetus has equal rights? Equality is not fashionable for some. Some political progressives like the term equity. Some Republicans have called for unequal voting rights in Colorado and Texas, with more emphasis on conservative voters. Equality is being opposed by the global trend towards authoritarian rule.It is a belief that certain people are better than others. 

Monday night Everything ConsideredNPR celebrated Independence Day with descendants of Frederick Douglass reading from “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” in 1852. This is history. But Ari Shapiro, NPR’s anchor, said that while slavery may have been ended, the consequences of it have lasted through generations.

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